Body Of Prominent Utah Businessman Found In Burning Capitol Hills Home; Estranged Husband Charged

Salt Lake City firefighters on the scene of a suspected arson fire at 574 N. East Capitol St. early Sunday morning. 72-year-old John Williams was found dead inside the home. Photo: Gephardt Daily

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, May 22, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake City police officials are investigating the suspicious death of a prominent 72-year-old Utah businessman whose body was found early Sunday morning inside a burning Capitol Hill home.

According to a SLCPD statement, firefighters were dispatched to 574 N. East Capitol Street at 1:18 a.m. where first responders found a three-story house engulfed in flames.

At 2:14 a.m., firefighters discovered the body of John Williams inside the home. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

John Williams
John Williams. Photo: Equality Utah Facebook page

Williams is the co-founder of Gastronomy, Inc., the company that runs the popular Market Street Grill restaurants along the Wasatch Front.

Police say William’s estranged husband, Craig Crawford, 47, has been arrested and booked into the Salt Lake County jail on charges of first degree aggravated homicide and first degree aggravated arson.

Arson investigators were still searching through the fire-ravaged residence Sunday evening, trying to determine William’s cause of death, as well as the cause of the fire.

The State Medical Examiner will be conducting an autopsy to determine a cause of William’s death.

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski released a statement late Sunday saying she was shocked to learn of William’s death.

“I am devastated to hear of the death of my long-time friend John Williams,” Biskupski said.”There are patrons of the arts, sciences and education, but John Williams was a patron of our city and helped it become the wonderful place it is today.

“Everything he helped to create fostered community, and the example he set paved the way for many others–including myself. John loved the people he connected with, and I am fortunate to be one of those people. He was a dear friend, and he cared deeply about Salt Lake City. While I have lost my friend, we all have lost a local hero.”

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